NewsCovering Colorado


Rethinking housing: City Council looking to expand in law units

Posted at 5:56 PM, Feb 12, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-10 09:28:38-04

COLORADO SPRINGS – Members of City Council are exploring the idea of relaxing certain zoning restrictions in order to encourage construction of more affordable housing. The city will host a series of public meetings this month to discuss what are called Accessory Dwelling Units.

Mike Schultz, a principal planner with the City of Colorado Springs describes the units as, “any type of unit that provides sleeping, bathing, and cooking facilities within a particular unit.”

Sometimes they are attached to the main home like a converted basement or attic. Other accessory dwelling units are built on top of a detached garage, or as a stand-alone cottage or separate house.

Schultz explained that the city’s current zoning limits the construction of accessory dwelling units to certain neighborhoods like Hill Side, Mill Street, and the Old North End.

“They’re currently allowed in withing two-family and multi-family zoned districts,” Schultz explained. “We’re proposing to allow those in most single-family home districts.”

Homeowners thinking of adding an accessory dwelling unit would still need to meet existing building codes. The additions must be smaller than 750 square feet and less than 25 or 28 feet tall depending on the pitch of the roof and whether the unit is located adjacent to an alley.

Minimum lot sizes would be either 6,000 or 7,000 square feet, depending on the zone district.

In addition to creating more affordable housing units, accessory dwelling also provide homeowners with the option of helping elderly relatives to age in place.

“We hope that people be using these for family members, primarily, but understanding that people may end up selling their houses or they may end up moving on,” Schultz explained.

The policy would not apply to tiny homes because a majority of them are built on trailers. Homeowners Associations could opt out.  However, they may need to vote to amend their covenants.

Public meetings will be held on the following dates and times

Wednesday, February 20, 2019
5:30pm to 7:00pm
Deerfield Hills Community Center
4290 Deerfield Hills Rd
Colorado Springs, CO 80916

Monday, February 25, 2019 – 5:30pm to 7:00pm
Prairie Hills Elementary School
8025 Telegraph Dr.
Colorado Springs, CO 80920

Tuesday, February 26, 2019 – 5:30pm to 7:00pm
City Auditorium
221 East Kiowa Street
Colorado Springs, CO 80903